By Lethbridge Herald on December 29, 2020.
COVID-19 has caused the cancellation of another beloved annual tradition in Lethbridge.
The Southern Alberta Buddhist Temple has canceled its annual New Year’s Eve ringing ceremony at Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden.
“It is very unfortunate,” said Reverend Yasuo Izumi of the Buddhist temple. “We started the ceremony in 2003. I came to Lethbridge for my second assignment in 2002, and had the opportunity to see the big bell at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, and thought I should start. ring the end of year bell. It is very common in Japan in almost all Buddhist temples.
Over the past 17 years, the event has grown from a small ceremony with few attendees to a large gathering of over 100 people each New Years Eve.
According to Izumi, the bell rings 108 times and represents the Buddhist conception of the six senses: taste, sight, touch, smell, sound and spirit.
The bell rings 18 times to represent the three states of these six senses: love, hate, and neutral. This is multiplied by two to represent the Buddhist conceptions of attachment and detachment, bringing the total number of rings to 36. And this, in turn, is multiplied by three times to represent the present, past and future. , bringing the total to 108 rings.
“We should call him 108 times to dispel our blind passions,” Izumi explains, “and reflect on ourselves.”
Sadly, says Izumi, this year it will sound on its own, but others are still invited to participate virtually via Zoom and YouTube.
Visit the Southern Alberta Buddhist Temple Facebook page for more details.
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